Ra Ra Riot weren’t afraid to use mistakes and accidents to create their killer sound for their new album ‘Beta Love’. Wes Miles tells us more…
“Our new album 'Beta Love' was recorded at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, Mississippi. The majority of pre-production was done in a small-but-vibey editing suite. I spent two weeks in that room demoing on Protools with mostly just a Casio MT-520 Synth and an SM7 mic. During that time we used a quick and dirty approach to writing and production that set the tone for the rest of the recording process. The song 'Binary Mind' is particularly a product of a lot of happy accidents, quick decision making, and uninhibited editing. It’s a great example of the process.
“The synth/sampled drums and bass tracks were especially fun to make. A lot of the Casio that we recorded for 'Binary Mind' in preproduction ended up in the final mix (you can also hear it in parts of several other songs). In the first verse, the bass pattern is straight from the Casio. It keeps time rather poorly, so we had to quantize it, but otherwise it’s uncompromised. The strange, almost out of time super bright hi-hat sound is from a Roland TR-606 glitch. We turned it on intending something more consistent-sounding, but it was stuck in eighth note triplets and had a really odd hype to it. So for that reason it just sounded right, and we kept it.
“The most identifiable sound on the song, though, is probably the sax-like guitar sounds in the choruses. It was one of the last things to happen to this track. During recording we knew the song needed something to tie down the choruses, and the thought of a standard guitar riff seemed inappropriate in the context of this song. Our producer, Dennis Herring, put a guitar through an Electro Harmonix micro bass synth and layered several together. The result sounds like weird saxes to me, and really pulled the song together. It was just another quick decision made one afternoon in search of 'whatever works for the song'.”